GE Energy Industrial Solutions and Lowe’s have announced they will partner to offer consumers the fast-charging GE WattStation Wall Mount Electric Vehicle Charging Station. The announcement was made today at the Plug-In 2011 Conference and Exposition.
With more rapid charging options such as this becoming available to the consumer market, it is reasonable to expect sales of electric vehicles (EVs) to increase.
“The innovative GE WattStation offers Lowe’s customers one of the electric-vehicle industry’s first rapid-charging solutions for use in homes and commercial businesses,” said Tom Dillon, Lowe’s merchandising vice president, in a press announcement.
Lowe’s will introduce the GE WattStation at five California stores in August, increasing to 60 stores in September. At that time the product will become available nationwide on the Lowe’s website.
According to Paul Foody, product general manager for GE Energy Industrial Solutions, this product launch marks the first time customers can purchase a GE WattStation from a retailers.
Recently Lowe’s installed a GE DuraStation EV Charging Station for use at its headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. and plans to install commercial charging stations at select stores for public use.
The WattStation, a Level 2 charger, is manufactured at a GE facility in Mebane, N.C. the charger fully charges an electric car in four to eight hours. This compares to standard overnight charging devices that take as much as 12 to 14 hours of charge time.
The system operates on a 208-240VAC circuit and is designed to work within the EV ecosystem. The compact wall-mounted GE WattStation measures 16 by 24 inches, with a depth of and 6 inches.
The EV charging station can be installed in new or existing construction, and can be installed using either hard wiring or a plug-in.
The key factors that will drive consumer interest will be ease-of-use and the time required for charging an EV. Advances such those made by GE in the development of this product will enhance a promising future of EVs as a viable alternative to gas-powered vehicles, especially if the price of petrol remains at its current high level.
Photo via ecomagination